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P1215 Women and Heart Disease

Managing your weight Did you know that … 77 there are 68 million overweight and obese adult women, representing 66.9 percent of the women in the United States? 77 62.1 percent of Caucasian women are overweight and 36.1 percent are obese? Being overweight increases blood pressure and blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It also increases your risk for type 2 diabetes—and diabetes in itself increases your risk for clogged arteries and heart attack. By bringing your weight down to its optimal level, you’ll lower your cholesterol level and blood pressure, and make your body more sensitive to the effects of insulin. A body mass index (BMI) of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight. A BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese. To calculate your BMI, multiply your weight in pounds by 703. Divide the result by your height in inches, then divide that result by your height in inches again. Another way to figure out your BMI is to divide your weight in kilograms by your height in inches squared. Even if you need to lose a lot of weight, losing just 5 to 10 pounds can make a difference. 77 82.0 percent of African-American women are overweight and 56.9 percent are obese? 77 77.0 percent of Mexican-American women are overweight and obese? 77 53.6 million adult women have total cholesterol of at least 200 mg/dL? Setting weight-loss goals The only safe way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories AND become more active. This doesn’t mean following a strict diet or exercising for hours a day. Instead, talk to your healthcare provider or dietitian to set weight-loss goals, then think about safe ways to meet those goals. Your first goal might be to eat about 250 fewer calories daily. Reaching this goal could be as simple as switching from whole milk to skim or from regular to diet soda. Along with diet changes such as this, you could follow the tips in this chapter to add more activity to your day. PLAY VIDEO Finding a Balance LEARNING CHECK Take a short quiz on what you’ve learned so far. © Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. abcardio.org 25


P1215 Women and Heart Disease
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